Turmeric grows really well in the tropics and contains Curcumin which has many health benefits – easy to find out about on the internet. It’s readily available at Rusty’s Market if you don’t grow your own and can be used fresh, dried, or in paste form. The benefit of the paste version is that it incorporates oil and black pepper, which releases the curcumin and makes it available to the body. I suggest you use gloves to prep turmeric – it’s VERY staining! You’ll find several recipes to make this paste (with or without ginger) but here’s how I do it:
- A cup of fresh turmeric rhizomes – no need to peel if they’re clean and tender.
- A cup of fresh ginger rhizomes (optional) – as above
- One to two cups of water
- Half a cup coconut oil (can use other oil but this is recommended)
- One tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- Clean sterilised jam jars or ice-cube trays
- NB these quantities are approximate – you could add extra pepper or oil as preferred.
- Roughly chop turmeric and ginger rhizomes and blend to a wet paste with a cup of water (more if needed to make blender work properly). Note: you can grate or finely chop by hand if no blender.
- Transfer to saucepan with coconut oil and black pepper and bring to the boil on low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, adding more water if needed to make a soft paste.
- Transfer to clean jars or ice-cube trays, cool and store in fridge or freezer.
- Add to stews, soups or curries for flavour, colour and health benefits
- Make Golden Milk – hot milk, a teaspoon of paste + honey or sugar to taste – great bedtime drink
- Eat by the spoonful – it has anti-inflammatory properties + is said to help with stress relief – best check it out on the net for possible side-effects first!